March 29, 2012
Never Repeat Your Commands
Never Never Say it Say it Twice- Twice…………… One of the most common training errors is repeating commands to your gun dog. For example, when you say the word “Whoa” once that has one meaning, if you say it twice then it has another meaning and if you say it three times it even has another meaning.
Over a series of repetitions of giving the same command, we inadvertently teach the dog that he does not have to make the correct response on the first command. It is not until we have said it two or three times until the dog responds and this is usually in combination with a raised tone or frustration in your command.
Rule of thumb: Give the command only once! Never give a command to your gun dog unless you are able to provide immediate praise for the correct behavior or a correction for an incorrect behavior. Many studies have demonstrated that dogs have a window of approximately 2 -3 seconds between behavior and praise or correction for the dog to make the learned association. Therefore, your timing of your praise is crucial for your dog to learn the desired response.
For more on this topic please contact me.
Dr. Dale Hubbard, Ph.D. – Animal Behavioral Specialist